A Vertical Feast

Last month we alerted you all of Vertical’s plans for this fall. Big launches for Ninja Slayer and Tokyo ESP followed. A successful New York ComicCon also came out of what was a monstrously big October. But that was just the start of what is going to be a hearty and tasty fourth quarter.

This month is when things really begin to heat up. Two of Vertical’s biggest hit-makers return after extended breaks. The English edition of one of Japan’s top selling novels eve will finally hit stores. To top that all off, we bring you more comedic gold from a rising star of Japanese humor.

There is plenty to be thankful this month, and we would be very grateful if you choose to have Vertical be a part of your fall this year.

A November to be Thankful For

New Releases

Back in 2009, Vertical began an initiative to expand its manga catalog. Prior to then we had only worked with three mangaka, releasing around a pair of titles a year since 2004. Now we have more than 50 manga titles under our belt. The first title from that new wave, though, was Konami Kanata’s Chi’s Sweet Home. By far the best selling manga title in our list and one of the longer running ones, at that, Chi is finally coming to a close this month with what might be the most heart-wrenching releases we have ever put to print. It will be sad to see this series wrap up, but thankfully we’ll be working more with Konami Kanata in the future. So that relationship will continue as we expand the North American cat comics market.

While Chi is big, our best selling authors are actually Aranzi Aronzo. The DIY duo from Osaka broke through globally not long after we introduced the Western world to The Cute Book and Cute Stuff. These collections of creepy-cute so-simple-it’s-fun doll and accessory making books have become a cult hit over the years. Now, five years removed from their last hit The Cuter Book and a number of storefronts later, Aranzi returns to English world with another 40 or so patterns in their Cuter Stuff collection. Crafters of all experience levels will rejoice when they see all the new ideas Aranzi have come up with lately.

In My Neighbor Seki volume 5, Rumi Yokoi might have thought she could escape Seki’s games while her class was on an extended field-trip. She possibly was being a little naive as Seki would not only continue his games on the road, he would even have his beloved Robot Family on the trip with him providing an addition bit of tension into Rumi’s already stressful life. Now with essentially two field trips occurring at once, Rumi must find a way to split her time between watching over her favorite action figures and enjoying her edu-tainment with her classmates. This may be Seki’s most diabolical project yet!

After a brief delay, Naoki Hyakuta’s The Eternal Zero is now scheduled to land in stores this month. Already legendary for breaking sales records in Japan, it has been the subject of a lot of debate and media attention in and out of Asia since it launched in 2006. It is not often the West gets to see books of this magnitude translated so quickly, so we are certain it will cause a stir once it hits North American literature’s radar.

Listen to This!

At New York ComicCon last month Vertical made news when they announced their new line of audio light novels!

Coming Spring 2016 prose releases like KIZUMONOGATARI and Attack on Titan: Harsh Mistress of the City will make their way to MP3 players and eBook readers in the near future. Voiced by trained voice actors and enhanced by music and audio effects, these audio books should give fans new ways to experience their favorite series.

Details, such as when and where these books will debut, are still being worked out. But stay tuned to this newsletter for more information on this new and unique way to enjoy Japanese prose in English!

Future Releases:

So whether in audio or in print (or even digital) as you come together with family and friends this fall, we would be very thankful if you all would gather with a Vertical book (or two). We’re certain they’ll warm you up and satisfy any hunger for entertainment you’d have.

Image Copyrights – All Rights Reserved
My Neighbor Seki © Takuma Morishige 2014; Cuter Stuff © ARANZI ARONZO 2013; The Eternal Zero © Naoki Hyakuta 2006; Chi’s Sweet Home © 2015 Konami Kanata; KIZUMONOGATARI © NISIOISIN 2015

A Spook-tacular Month for Vertical

October is a special month for Vertical, especially its imprint Vertical Comics. Apart from it being the 1st Anniversary for the manga imprint, October also tends to be the beginning of the calendar year for the publishing house as a hole. This is the month when we start rolling our biggest titles of the year. Whether prose or manga, craft book or art book…if a property launches in October (and November) it is a title we are really looking forward to sharing with our readers.

This October we have some heavy hitters. A pair of hits from the manga world are joined by one of the most talked about novels in Japanese history. And then there’s the Kizumonogatari news from Japan and some little event called New York Comic Con we attend.

Yeah, big big month! A scary big month! But more about that below…
So we hope you all continue to stand up against basic Japanese content as we launch our fall and winter catalog. Prepare to be surprised!

A Monstrous October
If you are in the States in October then there is no escaping Halloween fever. Ghouls, monsters and jack-o-lanterns dominate the landscape, and genres like the supernatural and horror begin to dominate the media scene.

Vertical is not oblivious to such trends. And as trend-setters we have a couple of works that should thrill readers for months if not years to come

Debuting this month is Hajime Segawa’s long awaited release of Tokyo ESP. A Japanese take on the mutant superhero genre, Tokyo ESP combines slap-stick comedy with action and supernatural in what has become a beloved franchise. Having already inspired an animated TV series and a pair of manga spin-offs, we are certain readers will not wait to sink their teeth into these pretty omnibus releases when they hit shelves this month!

Ninja may not be monsters, but they sure seem to do most of their deeds from the shadows. And in the world of Ninja Slayer nothing is scarier or more powerful than those cursed with the power of ninja karate! Richly rendered by Yoshiaki Tabata and Yuki Yugo, this manga adaptation of the cult hit novel series compliments both the prose and the animated series by Studio Trigger by bringing the whole world of Ninja Slayer to life through detailed action and biting satire in this hilarious ninja exploitation manga.

Not exactly a Halloween title, Naoki Hyakuta’s The Eternal Zero has been something like a monster within the publishing world. This tale of WWII flyboys and the killer fighter they pilot has sold more than 3 million copies in Japan making it one of the best selling prose releases in Japan’s recent history.

And finally, October also will bring the release of the seventh volume of one of Vertical’s most spooky titles: Ryu Mizunagi’s Witchcraft Works. In this volume, Ayaka is on the search for her past demons. To uncover the secrets from her youth, she takes Honoka to her ancestral home… Which just happens to be guarded by magicians and giant wolves!! CREEPY!!

KIZUMONOGATARI

This Tale is Going to be a Trilogy

On October 3rd, it was revealed that NISIOISIN’s long-awaited KIZUMONOGATARI would finally be released in theaters with a January 8, 2016 premiere date. But that was just the beginning of what would be a string of news around the property. The January release is scheduled to be the first of three movies produced by studio SHAFT based on the novel.

Our edition of the novel has been pushed back to December, but fear not the book is now deep in production and we will soon be revealing the new original art for the cover provided by MONOGATARI’s illustrator VOFAN.

Stay tuned to the Vertical twitter for more information on the novel release and for news on the anime please follow the official site (link here).

Future Releases:

Vertical Convention Tour 2015

In a matter of days the Vertical tour bus will be retired for the year. But before it goes into hibernation, we will be making one last stop in our hometown and this show will be a doozy!

As usual we’ll be in the exhibitor hall, booth #2020, selling wares including advance releases of Witchcraft Works 7 and Ninja Slayer 1. On Friday at 5:00p, we ask that NYCC patrons please join us at our industry panel where our staff will go over our up-coming titles. Over the hour we’ll also be revealing some interesting plans for 2016, so be sure to be present to witness the future of Vertical and J-Pop content! And stick around for some exclusive con goodies from Japan too!

Image Copyrights – All Rights Reserved
Tokyo ESP © Hajime Segawa 2015; Ninja Slayer © 2012 Ninja Entertainment; Yuki Yogo 2015 & Yoshiaki Tabata 2015; The Eternal Zero © Naoki Hyakuta 2006; Witchcraft Works © 2015 Ryu Mizunagi; KIZUMONOGATARI © NISIOISIN 2015

COWARD OR HERO?

The Eternal ZeroAll Kentaro and Keiko know about their grandfather is that he died as a kamikaze pilot toward the end of the war. Intrigued, the siblings set off on a mission to learn the truth about Kyuzo Miyabe’s life and death. As they begin interviewing his few surviving comrades, they hear conflicting reports. Some of the old soldiers describe him as a despicable coward. Others say this ace fighter pilot was an inspiring hero. But everyone seems to agree that Miyabe’s goal was to get through the war alive and return home to his wife and child. Why, then, would he volunteer for a kamikaze flight?

With the mythical Mitsubishi A6N Zero fighter at its center, the novel recreates, in great detail, breathtaking battles in the air and at sea. But it also offers a portrait of a flawed, enigmatic, and very complicated man whose love for his family was the driving force behind his actions – whichever way they were perceived.

Like the character of Miyabe, the fundamental message conveyed in THE ETERNAL ZERO has been given completely opposite interpretations. As the story explores the meaning of loyalty and sacrifice, is it a scathing condemnation of the Imperial Navy and Army? Or is it actually a glorification of Japanese nationalism – especially as it describes the young men who flew off to certain death as kamikaze?

THE ETERNAL ZERO is a provocative look at the War in the Pacific. But, more importantly, it’s a thoroughly entertaining, emotional powerhouse of a novel that readers won’t soon forget – no matter which side you take.